February 25, 2009

Kozlowski a Finalist for ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year Award Again

Feb. 25, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Senior forward Danielle Kozlowski (Melrose, Mass.) has been named one of three finalists for the ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year Award, the second year in a row she has been honored as a finalist. Kozlowski is the first two-time finalist in the award's history, and Yale is the only school to have had a finalist in each year.

The ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year Award is designed to recognize student-athletes who excel on the ice and in the classroom while also leading in the community. Nominees must have a minimum GPA of 3.50 and have played in a minimum of 50 percent of their team's games.

Kozlowski has been a leader on the ice, in the classroom and in the community throughout her time at Yale. A finalist for the ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year Award and an Academic All-Ivy League selection last year, she will earn her third ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team honor this year and has been a stalwart in the Bulldog lineup since her freshman season. She has played in 116 out of a possible 122 games for her career, including a streak of 79 straight games from her freshman year until her junior year. Kozlowski is also involved extensively in volunteer work and is starting a new leadership program for local youths this spring.

An anthropology major, Kozlowski has compiled a 3.60 cumulative grade-point average and is taking courses such as Origin of Complex Society in West Africa, The Aztecs of Mexico, Southeast Asia since 1900 and more. Some of her work has been noted as being graduate school-level in its caliber.

On the ice, the five-foot-one Kozlowski is noted for her fearless shot-blocking ability and was selected by her teammates as the toughest player on the team in a mid-season survey last year. She is a key part of Yale's special teams units, which includes a penalty killing unit that killed off 61 of 68 penalties (.897) successfully over the last 17 games.

Kozlowski also contributed two goals and seven assists this year. Her 11 career goals include four game-winners, one of which was among the most significant tallies in school history -- the game-winning goal in Yale's 1-0 win at Dartmouth Feb. 2, 2006 that snapped a 41-game losing streak against the Big Green. During her time at Yale Kozlowski has also helped Yale end a 37-game winless streak against Brown (Feb. 14, 2006) and an 18-game losing streak against Northeastern (Jan. 7, 2006). Her class leaves with 49 wins, third-most in school history.

Kozlowski's contributions off the ice are numerous. She spent her 2007 spring break in New Orleans assisting with relief work in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. For one week, she and her group gutted water-soaked buildings and houses in the Tulane-Gravier neighborhood with the organization Phoenix of New Orleans. For spring break 2008 she returned to New Orleans, this time as the leader of a group that focused on rebuilding as opposed to gutting. She worked with Rebuilding Together New Orleans.

This March Kozlowski will launch a new program, the "Bulldog Leadership Initiative", based on her experience with the Yale Athletics Department's Kiphuth Leadership Academy. The Kiphuth Leadership Academy is a unique program that develops Yale student-athletes to be world-class leaders in athletics, academics and life. Kozlowski has participated in the program, which is co-directed by nationally prominent expert on sports leadership Jeff Janssen and the Yale athletics department administration, and decided that a similar program should be offered to local youths. She and a pair of fellow Yale student-athletes are organizing a one-day workshop that will enable local eighth and ninth graders to learn leadership lessons similar to those taught in the Kiphuth Leadership Academy.

Kozlowski also mentors girls age 9-11 at a local school each week and is on the food and beverage committee for Yale's annual "Relay for Life" fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The relay has particular significance for the Bulldogs this year, as junior forward Mandi Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask.) has been diagnosed with leukemia and is currently back home undergoing chemotherapy. The Bulldogs are selling "No. 17" Yale Hockey t-shirts to raise money in her honor.

Kozlowski is a member of Yale's Thomas W. Ford '42 Student-Athlete Community Outreach Committee and takes part in Yale's Thomas W. Ford '42 Community Outreach Program, which includes "Skate with the Players" events, Youth Days, and an annual toy drive for underprivileged children.

A multiple-sport star in high school, Kozlowski also played softball for Yale in her freshman year, helping fill the team's need in the outfield due to a small roster. She earned the softball team's Coach's Cup for her contributions that year.

Kozlowski, whose brother Mike played forward at MIT, graduated from Buckingham Browne & Nichols. She was inducted into the Cum Laude Society and won the school's Nichols Prize for academic & athletic success. She captained the field hockey, ice hockey and softball teams and was twice selected team MVP in hockey.

While in high school Kozlowski worked at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and coached at various hockey camps. She also tutored and coached as part of the Books, Basketball and Neighbors program.

The ECAC Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year Award is in its third season. Kelsey Johnson '07 was a finalist for Yale in the inaugural year, and Kozlowski has earned the honor in each of the past two years. The winner will be announced during the week of the Women's ECAC Hockey Championship, which takes place Mar. 7 and 8.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity